Westpac dividend under pressure

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 : 23-Sep-19

There is growing speculation that Westpac could reduce its dividend payout in response to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s new capital requirements. Westpac has yet to determine the size of its final dividend for 2018-19, but Credit Suisse has forecast both a lower payout and a capital raising of at least $1.5bn when Westpac releases its full-year results in early November. The prospect of further official interest rate cuts in Australia is also weighing on the earnings of the nation’s banks.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, EVANS AND PARTNERS ASIA FUND – ASX EAF, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, PM CAPITAL LIMITED

Macquarie’s $1.6bn capital raise

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 29-Aug-19

Macquarie Group has advised that its profit for the six months to 30 September will be about 10 per cent higher than the $1.3bn result for the same period in 2018. Macquarie posted a record profit of $2.98bn for the year to 31 March, and Jonathan Mott of UBS has forecast a profit of $3.04bn for fiscal 2020. Meanwhile, Macquarie is seeking to raise $1bn from institutional investors and up to $600m from retail investors via a share purchase plan. Most of the proceeds will be invested in assets such renewable energy, technology and infrastructure.

CORPORATES
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, CADENCE CAPITAL LIMITED – ASX CDT, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, CITIGROUP PTY LTD

Investors query AMP turnaround

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 17 & 22 : 9-Aug-19

AMP has announced a loss of $2.3bn for the first half of 2019 and a new strategy to turn around its fortunes. Amongst other things, the wealth manager aims to reduce costs by about $300m a year. AMP has also flagged plans to significantly reduce the number of financial advisers in its network and place more emphasis on so-called roboadvice. AMP will also continue to pursue the sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life, while it will issue new shares at $1.50 apiece via a $650m capital raising.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Village eyes rebound as salaries, discounts cut

Original article by Jemima Whyte
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 13 & 16 : 11-Jul-18

Village Roadshow will use the proceeds of a $51m right issue to reduce its debt. The new shares will be offered at $1.65 apiece, which represents a discount of 24 per cent to the stock’s most recent trading price. The theme parks and cinemas group has also advised that it will cease offering discounted tickets via resellers, with co-CEO Graham Burke noting that the majority of consumers now buy tickets directly from Village Roadshow. The company will reduce its joint CEOs’ salaries and its directors’ fees as part of a strategy to cut costs.

CORPORATES
VILLAGE ROADSHOW LIMITED – ASX VRL, WARNER BROS MOVIE WORLD ENTERPRISES, SEAWORLD, WET `N’ WILD WATER PARK, TOPGOLF, VILLAGE ROADSHOW CORPORATION LIMITED, ARDENT LEISURE GROUP – ASX AAD, DREAMWORLD, GROUPON AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

ANZ, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank executives charged with criminal cartel offences

Original article by Stephen Letts
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 6-Jun-18

The ANZ Bank’s global head of treasury, Rick Moscati, is among six senior banking industry executives who will face criminal cartel charges arising from ANZ’s institutional share placement in 2015. Citigroup MD John McLean and the investment bank’s global head of foreign exchange trading, Itay Tuchman, have also been charged, as has Citi’s former Australian head, Stephen Roberts. Two former Deutsche Bank executives, Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson, also face charges following a two-year investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. The three banks will also be prosecuted for allegedly engaging in a cartel.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY

Fels supports cartel case against banks

Original article by Patrick Durkin
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 19 : 5-Jun-18

The ANZ Bank, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank are facing criminal charges relating to alleged cartel behaviour regarding the sale of shares that were not taken up in an ANZ capital raising in 2015. The first hearing in the case, which has been instigated by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, is due to take place on 3 July. Former ACCC chairman Allan Fels says the case against the three companies appears to be a very technical one, and that their lawyers will be working hard to come up with a technical defence.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, ADLEY BURSTYNER, NRMA INSURANCE LIMITED

ANZ cartel matter unsettles financial community

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 4-Jun-18

Many legal experts expect that persuading a jury that the parties involved in the ANZ Bank’s cartel case had deliberately sought to break the law will be hard, while others note that a civil case would be easier to win. The Director of Public Prosecutions is pursuing a criminal cartel case against ANZ, Citi and Deutsche Bank on behalf of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission. A third investment bank, JP Morgan, has been granted immunity from prosecution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, CITIGROUP PTY LTD, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, COUNTRY CARE, UNILEVER PLC, BRITISH VIRGIN, CUSSONS

Woodside in $2.5b raising for LNG growth

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 15-Feb-18

Woodside Petroleum has advised that its profit for 2017 rose by 18 per cent to $US1.024bn. Meanwhile, the group will have a 75 per cent stake in the Scarborough gas field after striking a deal to acquire ExxonMobil’s 50 per cent interest in the undeveloped asset for $US744m. Woodside will finance the acquisition via a $A2.5bn capital raising. BHP Billiton holds the remaining 25 per cent stake in Scarborough, and it could potentially exercise its pre-emptive right to buy ExxonMobil’s stake.

CORPORATES
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LIMITED – ASX WPL, EXXONMOBIL CORPORATION, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP, ALLAN GRAY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WATERMARK FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC, BERNSTEIN INVESTMENT RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT, WOOD MACKENZIE, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Yancoal’s $3 billion raising shunned

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 21 : 29-Aug-17

Institutional investors subscribed for only $US59m worth of shares in Yancoal Australia’s $US1.3bn entitlement offer, which is part of its $US2.35bn ($A3bn) capital raising to finance the acquisition of Rio Tinto’s New South Wales assets. The response to the retail component of the share offer was also subdued, with existing shareholders applying to buy just $US4m worth of shares. As a result, parent company Yanzhou Coal and the bookbuild’s underwriters will be required to meet the significant shortfall.

CORPORATES
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, COAL AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES LIMITED, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, YANZHOU COAL MINING COMPANY LIMITED, CHINA SHANGDONG INVESTMENT COMPANY LIMITED, CINDA ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, GLENCORE PLC, WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED – ASX WHC, NOBLE GROUP LIMITED, CONTANGO ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED – ASX CGA, MERRILL LYNCH (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD

Noble Group to challenge Yancoal raising

Original article by James Thomson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 3-Aug-17

Glencore will buy $US300m worth of shares in Yancoal Australia via the latter’s $US2.5bn ($A3.1bn) equity raising, which will be used to finance its acquisition of Rio Tinto’s coal assets in the Hunter Valley. However, Noble Group claims that the capital raising will "oppress" minority shareholders such as itself, with their stakes to be diluted as a result of the new capital. Yancoal estimates that acquiring the Rio Tinto assets will generate synergies of $A120m to $A145m.

CORPORATES
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX YAL, GLENCORE PLC, NOBLE GROUP LIMITED, SENRIGAN CAPITAL GROUP LIMITED, COAL AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES LIMITED, YANZHOU COAL MINING COMPANY LIMITED, SHANDONG TAIZHON ENERGY COMPANY, GENERAL NICE DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, CINDA ASSET MANAGEMENT CORPORATION, SHANDONG LUCION INVESTMENT HOLDINGS GROUP COMPANY LIMITED, MITSUBISHI CORPORATION, BHP BILLITON LIMITED – ASX BHP